This story wrestles with a culture that believed disease and
misfortune were God’s punishment. Someone did wrong;
someone sinned. A person or even parents could cause lasting
illness—so the disciples believed, and they want Jesus to settle
their bet of who is at fault. The past determines the present, and
somehow the past calculation metes out what we deserve.

Jesus changes the equation. God is active in the present, not
limited or compelled by the past. The focus shifts to God’s grace,
which acts to bring healing, light, and insight. “He was born
blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him,” says Jesus.

The complexity of the past brings to mind choices that
seemed so good that turned out so bad; ways of coping that
helped us survive childhood but that don’t work in future
relationships or situations. What seemed like a door closing, a
disappointing ending, may have turned out to be a surprising
opening to something not glimpsed. We can learn from the past
and receive wisdom from the past, but Jesus encourages us not
to allow our past to control us.

After all, the present can be confusing enough. Consider
the many questions this healing raised: Is this really the blind
beggar? Is he your son? Who did this? How did this happen?
The man’s reply: “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on
my eyes.” Soon he affirms Jesus as a prophet. He also sees his
fearful parents standing before the leaders. He moves from past
blindness to the challenges of present-day seeing. Life is not
punishment but blessing and challenge. And the One who heals
is the same One who accompanies.

Gracious God, lead me from the past into this present moment. Ferret out wisdom from my journey, and place it on my path. Set me free to live with compassion for others, kindness to strangers, and gentleness with myself. Help me see others and myself in the light of your love and grace. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer John 9:1-41

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Leccionario Semanal
March 20–26, 2017
Resumen de la Escritura

First Samuel 16 reminds us of the bold risk that Yahweh took in the anointing of this young and unheralded shepherd. If 1 Samuel 16 causes us to wonder about the adequacy of all human shepherds, Psalm 23 reassures us that one Shepherd never fails. The New Testament passages consider the tension between light and darkness as a metaphor for the conflict between good and evil. In Ephesians 5, the struggle has already been resolved but takes seriously the continuing problem of sin. By means of the love and presence of Jesus Christ, even the power of evil cannot withstand the light. Then John 9 emphasizes the power of Christ as a bringer of light in the story of the man born blind.

Preguntas para la reflexión

• Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13. How often do you allow external appearances to affect your decisions? In what ways are you learning to look on the heart?
• Read Psalm 23. When do you take time for yourself by slowing your pace, breathing deeply, and allowing God to restore your soul? How might this become a daily habit?
• Read Ephesians 5:8-14. How do you discover what pleases God? How does your living reflect your discovery?
• Read John 9:1-41. When have you experienced a “healing” that brought you back into community—either at home, work, or faith setting?

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